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‘Trailblazers’ cross stage to accept architecture degrees

Sudbury Star

June 6, 2019 

The city’s inaugural crop of architecture grads tossed their caps Thursday afternoon following a convocation ceremony at Fraser Auditorium.
Twenty-nine students from the McEwen School of Architecture, which opened in 2013, were presented with the first master of architecture degrees ever conferred by Laurentian University.
In doing so, the students not only realized their own dream but “the dream of many community members who helped make the McEwen School of Architecture a reality,” the university said in a release. “For our community members, this represents another significant milestone in the story of the school. For the students, their six-year journey culminates with this degree.”
David Fortin, director of the architecture school, said it was “a proud moment for our students, their families and our faculty members” to see the graduates cross the stage.
“When I think about this group of trailblazers, the first of many to follow, they’re an impressive group of resilient leaders,” said Fortin in a release. “They’ve persevered through, and learned from, the multiple construction projects within the school.”
The students have also been “the first to complete the many community projects and build partnerships,” he added. “They’ve done all of this without a blueprint to follow.”
The moment was particularly gratifying for the school’s founding director Terrance Galvin.
“From the beginning, we wanted to have an impact on Canada’s Indigenous architecture landscape,” he said. “I can think back to when we first started this program, there were 13 registered Indigenous architects across Canada. Now, we have three Indigenous architects graduating (to add to the 18 registered Indigenous architects in Canada) and have many more enrolled.”
Galvin said the school has been able to “bring together traditional teachings, the needs of our communities and modern architectural practices to deliver a program that is truly unique.”
The school is “not only unique in its commitment to inclusivity of Indigenous perspectives and worldviews, but has been internationally recognized for the exceptional teaching, the accomplishments of the students and even the physical building of the school at the heart of downtown Sudbury,” the university noted.